Ask A Guitar God (Samakar)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing, Graphics, Movies, etc.' started by Samakar, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Samakar
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    So, I decided I'm sick and tired of having to repeat myself in sporadic guitar posts about what to do. Soooooooo, I decided to make my own thread, and I want this thread stickied damnit! This will be your place to ask me questions and to get your answers about things.

    Here was my big post for beginners:
    First of all, I'll advertise a few things from school, buy books by Dan Gilbert, Tommy Tedesco and David Oakes! These guys are amazing musicians and have been teaching me a whole lot since I've been here. MI books are relatively cheap (I think somewhere around the $30-$40 price range, not sure, we have different course material at school) but look them up, they have some of the best info to offer. I'm not getting paid to say this, I'm just speaking from experience.

    Next, a lot of what you need to get better depends on what direction you want to go with your music and what direction as a guitar player you want to go. If you want to be a great hired gun, focus on getting your rhythm guitar down to a T. Once you can do 16th. note syncopated rhythms and be able to look at a chart and go "yep, let's do it!" then you're in the clear! If you want to be an original (like me), focus hard on both lead and rhythm guitar, it's gonna suck, it's gonna hurt, you're gonna whine, you're gonna bitch, but after a few years, you'll finally smile and go "yea, that was totally worth it!" If you want to be a great studio musician and make a living in music, this is very fucking important:

    LEARN HOW TO FUCKING READ MUSIC!!!!!

    This is essential, even if you're just going to be a hired gun or an original, learning to read music WILL SAVE YOUR ASS!! Trust me, it's gotten me payed just recently, and I'm still not very good at it, but I was able to blindly thrust myself through a melody and got to keep the gig and got a call back, it's all about practice and repitition. Also, get your ear training down to a T, I suggest this website: http://www.good-ear.com/

    When you can identify intervals really fast, identify melodies and rhythmic subdivisions, you'll be all set as well. Also, start studying theory, understanding your key signatures and how chord progressions work is essential to song writing and not looking like an idiot on a stand in gig when you hear someone go "key of B flat, 1, 4, 2, 6, 5, 1 with a 2, 6, 3, 4, 1 bridge, go!" and go "bwah?", here's a great website for music theory stuffs: http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/theory/theory.htm have fun with the Circle of 5ths.

    Anyways, onto the technical stuff, the first and foremost way that you develop your lead style is by studying scales, lots and lots of scales, learning both the major and relative minor of each scale. There's minor pentatonic patterns 1-5, along with their natural minor scale brothers, patterns 1-5, which can also turn into both major pentatonic patterns 1-5 along with their natural major scale patterns 1-5, these are good things to study and look up.

    Next is phrasing, thinking of all of the great solo's in the world, it doesn't take much to woo a crowd, a man who can skillfully play 6 notes and wow an audience, is a much better musician than Yngay Malmshpleen getting up on stage and blasting off 4,000 notes and only hitting one or two good ones that make you go "yea, that was nice" and instead it's a bunch of boring sweeps. (Sorry I have a big problem with him, he makes me sick, besides the fact that he's a total snob in person.) So study the Blues to start, everyone starts with the Blues, it's how you understand playing a solo and it makes you a better improviser so later when you're sitting there on a gig having to play Sin City by AC/DC you can totally shred it up because you understand the concept of melodic phrasing, bending properly, vibrato's, chord tones, ect. Look here for virtually every scale and chord in existance: http://www.blackbeltguitar.com/ChordScaleGenerator.php

    I couldn't find a place with good chord inversions or triads, but that might have some hidden in there if you look. Now, every lead guitar player has to play to something, or else he looks like he's just wanking off randomly. So, I present you with BACKING TRACKS!:

    www.guitarbt.com
    www.guitarbackingtrack.com

    These are the two best by far that I've used for a very long time, also, if you're trying to learn a song, using www.playlist.com to find the songs or youtube.com is also very helpful. I have found googling for tabs rather than sticking to one site has helped me out a lot when there are no charts and I have a last minute gig coming up in an hour, and Fretplay has been the best one so far that I've found for tabs when I search in Google, if Fretplay appears, I normally go to them for tabs.

    Other then that, here are a few more resources for you to use, then I'm outy for school:

    Metrenome:http://www.metronomeonline.com/
    Online Tuner:http://www.gieson.com/Library/projects/utilities/tuner/

    Any other questions, ask, and I just might answer, the almighty guru is here. :)

    -Samakar
     
  2. Valindria
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    My advice to those who want to start a band. Make sure you are doing it for the fun of hanging out with friends or playing music. If you go into it looking for money... good luck. The music industry is pretty fucked up.

    Samakar mentioned being able to play gigs as a hired gun and there is still money in that. I guy I work with plays for all the local musicals in a pit. He gets gigs all the time because he is talented and can learn whatever is needed. Most people that start a band will end up breaking up.

    My friends and I have a band that we started in HS. We suck. For us it's about hanging out and having a good time. It's the way to go. We play every now and then but I have a real job and this is a hobby. I have seen many bands I thought would make it break up.

    When talking to a bass player of a small sized national act, he was telling stories about touring. One kid asked him at a show why are they on a Japanese record label. He said cause kids in Japan don't steal music. It's rough on bands here.

    Take the Advice of Reel Big Fish:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPxlenE-kic
    Don't start a band.
     
  3. Step 1: be female
    Step 2: or be very feminine
    Step 3: find someone who can sing
    Step 4: show private parts or if you're not female, date someone who showed private parts
    Step 5: ???
    Step 6: Profit


    What's a good guitar to start with?
    Should I grow nails?
    Do guitarists really need to bang the tips of their fingers onto everything to grow thicker skin there?
    Can you cut your fingers while playing?
     
  4. The Communist
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    My friend has started making some Amps... what kind of sound do you look for in an amp?
     
  5. umgala
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    I was watching a 04 video of Incubus at Red Rocks. Mike Einziger is a great guitarist and he has a shit load of stuff he uses on stage. Really, as long as you have a good amp - my personal fav of course is the classic Marshall - you can add on various peddles and such to get whatever sound you want. I personally can't afford any of that stuff, but I always look for clear tones and a strong voice from an amp.
     
  6. Samakar
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    If you want to start a band as just a hobby, then yes, great, do it for fun and such.

    If you want to be a professional band, then not only does it have to be fun, but it has to be a business. Treat it like your job, you can't bother yourself with other things, like another job, wanting to go to college first, ect. You'll never get anywhere unless your band is the first and foremost thing on your mind, the food on your table has to come from your band, so that means constantly writing, constantly doing is the key to everything. Every day should be a new day for writing, no one day is a break. Keep a notebook and a personal recorder on you, when inspiration comes, write it down, record it, whatever! But keep it flowing!

    Don:
    A good guitar to start with, if you're looking for cheap, is something that sounds really good. Go to Guitar Center or whatever music store is in your home town, and try out guitars. If you go for Squier's/Strat's, hold it up by the headstock by placing your thumb and index finger underneath the arch of the headstock and pluck the b string (2nd string) and hold the bottom of the body, if you feel it vibrate, it's a live one, hold onto it, go on to the next ones, and get a good 5 of them, and then start testing them out. See how they feel on your hands, the weight, the tone, see if it fits what you want. Epiphones have a more rounder/thicker sound, while Squier's are more raw, more rougher, bluesier, but can also be very sweet in tone when needed. Ofcourse, these are just knock off models of the true models, such as Gibson and Fender. But seeing as you're starting out, a good cheap Squier or Epiphone guitar will be good for you. :)

    Growing nails on your note hands is VERY BAD! It sucks! It makes it REALLY hard to play with longer finger nails, and it isn't very attractive to women or to your audience. Guitar players normally grow out the finger nails on their picking hand if they are Classical Guitar players or if they do a lot of Hybrid/Chicken Picking. The key with that is you have to file down your finger nails so that they are nice and pointy. No more foreplay with that hand!

    No, that's an urban myth, you don't need to bang your fingers on anything to fix your calluses, instead, practice, practice, practice! Build them naturally through practice, it'll make your fingers stronger as well as strengthen your calluses. :)

    YES you can cut your fingers while playing. I was just in the studio just recently with freshly cut nails, and my high E string sliced open the skin on my middle finger, couldn't play for 2 days. I've also cut the backs of my fingers during shows when I had really tender backs of the fingers on my strumming hand, and during a lot of my funk and heavy blues rock playing, my middle finger would get sliced up pretty bad. It'll all stop the more you play!

    Commie:
    I look for something raw and earthy with a nice, warm tube tone. Something with nice smooth low end that can sustain my clean tones and cut through on any song. My distortion has to have nice sustain but have the rawness of that tube sound that I love so much. My current amp, an old vintage Line 6 Spyder, has those tones and I love it dearly. :)

    Umgala:
    Try out some old vintage Orange amps, and some vintage Vox tube amps. Some old Fender Twin's and vintage Line 6 amps. :) If you can find a good electronic instead of tube amp that has beautiful tone with tons of preset options, GET IT! Trust me, it's worth it!
     
  7. SamHamwich
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    Personally for now, i'm sticking with acoustic, i just love the sound myself. In the next couple of months im going to be picking up a seagul, ive been eying this puppy for about 3 months now, just love the sound and feel of it. I'm currently learning Wish you were here, and i just started playing dust in the wind. (Is there any good recording software and editing you can recommend? Nothing too fancy, doesn't even have to be meant for instruments either...)Every time I pick it up i run through the, i think it's called the chromatic scale? It just the low e, all the way up the scale to the high e, and then back down it. I do that at clearly as I can about 3-5 times each session. I find it helps me quickly move the fret fingers, and also gets me use to the picking as well on the other hand.

    I can only play for about 2 hours tops until i can no longer feel the tips of my fingers and i get so frustrated when they don't do what i tell them to lol...
     
  8. The Cox
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    I too just started actually putting my acoustic guitar to work, instead of it sitting in the corner, and my god, my fingers hurt rofl.
     
  9. SamHamwich
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    I recorded a small tidbit, i buzzed a couple strings and the strumming isn't 100% like the song, but i just started this on friday, and im finding it a very good challenge.

    id post it but the biggest attachment is 97kb, and its about 670.
     
  10. The Cox
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    I are stupid when it comes to strumming lol. I actually use my fingers to pick it. But only because I cant find ze pick.

    God, Chords are so hard to do right now.

    Heppa, how do your fingers feel?
     
  11. SamHamwich
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    A bit hard on the tips, i've been practicing sliding so i was pretty sore yesterday lol.

    I'm gonna put together later tonight a bunch of small pieces i know and record them. I've only been playing for 8 months and teaching myself, so you will hear some mistakes hehehe
     
  12. Samakar
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    Samakar's Weekly Challenge:

    Alright boys, so, I'm gonna pose a little challenge to you kiddies.

    I'm going to give you guys till Midnight on Tuesday to take this backing track:

    http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/play/ac_dc/highway_to_hell.htm

    And you're going to learn it, solo to it, and record it, and then post it up. Best of them all will get a special small lesson in song structure. :)

    Do it faggots! :D
     
  13. SamHamwich
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    Cool, I don't have an electric guitar so it won't sound as good i don't think? And I have a few small recordings of some easy stuff i have done, but have no way to post it :(
     
  14. Samakar
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    Save the file and upload it to Filefront.

    Either way, rock it the best that you can, even if you've only got an acoustic. Do the best with what you got.
     
  15. SamHamwich
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    ok here ya go, check these out, i was just messing around yesterday and decided to record these. I used a lot of these as just exercises for myself with chord transitions mostly.

    wonderwall.wma:
    http://files.filefront.com/wonderwallwma/;11549594
    good_riddance.wma:
    http://files.filefront.com/good+riddancewma/;11549
    wait4me.wma:
    http://files.filefront.com/wait4mewma/;11549592;/f
    wishuwerehere.wma:
    http://files.filefront.com/wishuwereherewma/;11549
    free_falling.wma:
    http://files.filefront.com/free+fallingwma/;115495

    the file names are a dead giveaway, but maybe see if you can guess what they are lol.
     
  16. Samakar
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    Can't open wma files, but oh well.
     
  17. SamHamwich
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    what!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. SamHamwich
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  19. The Cox
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    /cry

    I have been playing for 3 days rofl... No way am I recording stuff right now lol

    Uh heppa, I tried to click on wish you were here, and it took me to some Quake 3 install thing lol
     
  20. SamHamwich
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    lol wtf
     

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